A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself. D H Lawrence
First 37 years spent in solitary confinement
rolling dice carved from a finger bone
against this unforgiving wall.
Let out from time to time
to circle the prison yard.
No brain for science.
Forced by nature to relate everything to God.
Layers of imagined specialness
all very complicated.
Getting old now.
Falling back to what set this world in motion.
Whatever Love is
the only God I want to know.
Selfishness at the root of every body.
Take care of my own self first.
Fight for the last remaining breath.
All very tiresome in the end.
The body stores so much tension it can’t relax.
By the time it dies, its face belongs to someone else:
this man created by a tension
held so dear.
when you came to my door, your arms were open
but I had climbed into a pine tree
high, higher up
scanning distances the colors of cerulean frost
hoping to catch sight of my own eyes.
Maybe you called my name but I could not hear
for the mockingbirds.
When you left, even the crows left with you.
Even the blue jays gone from my door step.
No one singing now.
There is no pain other than being here without you.
All other pains are rolled into that one.
Behind all of this, an embrace, a smile, a welcome
At the right moment, I will not be afraid.
What is broken will be knitted back together with needles
I know this.
So interesting now to hold the hand of the one I love
to feel it as a woman’s hand grown old
but also as a baby girl’s
a dry leaf, a flow of air across the palm.
In the dark
we can’t tell whose hand is whose.
We are all illegals here
all of us homeless with a hand out.
Help me cross this river, Friend
Water is streaming out my body red as blood.
Hold me one time in your arms and tell me I am
Once will be enough.
Being on time for God is important
being awake when he passes on his morning walk….
but luck has so much to do with those who catch sight
No matter how diligent we are
we drift out of sleep just in time
to see the moon passing full across the window
I sympathize with your friend who shot himself in the head
but let’s not do that, just yet.
Fellow I knew recently hung himself.
A good man, you couldn’t miss the kindness in him.
Battled depression for years. Fought it hand to hand.
End of a long relationship must have played a part
but the final blow
was the dean of the local college
where this man painted, cleaned, repaired the walls
announced it was likely the school would have to close
all workers thrown into the fire.
That good man went home, wrote some note to his children
and hung himself for a friend to find.
Now it seems the dean was hasty.
The school won’t close after all. They say that school never closes.
How could it?
Hope is not essential.
Sometimes there is joy and ecstasy.
We feel a pointed participation with our Existence
as a person with plans unfolding.
Sometimes there is an ecstasy with no plan.
Just seeing the moon pass across a window pane is enough
to justify the universe.
Other times we are in pain
rolling in our bed sheets as a caterpillar spinning its cocoon
or we feel we are taking a light nap
aware of what is happening around us but uninvolved
Either way, risen or set, the moon is there.
Not allowing ourselves to tunnel out of prison is important
not rolling our bones into a past or future.
When we fall in love, it always happens where we are
not where we ought to be.
We look up, for no reason that we know, and there is Lord Krsna.
Or in my case, there is Carol
or there is Krsna dressed as Carol or Carol dressed how Krsna would be dressed
if he were dressed as Carol.
I want to give back everything I have stolen from my Self
saying it was “mine”.
Let me lay it down on the counter, where I find myself
naked as moonlight in our kitchen
waiting for water to boil.